Cheaper to cancel Site C dam than delay B.C. megaproject until 2025: report
Bob Peever, of B.C. Hydro, gives a site tour of the Site C Dam location that runs along the Peace River in Fort St. John, B.C., Tuesday, April 18, 2017. (Jonathan Hayward / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, September 11, 2017 3:37PM EDT
VANCOUVER - A new report concludes that it would be cheaper to cancel the Site C dam than to delay the $8.8-billion megaproject in northeast British Columbia.
The report by auditing firm Deloitte LLP says that pausing the project until 2025 would cost approximately $1.4 billion, while cancelling it outright would cost $1.2 billion.
Deloitte was tasked by the B.C. Utilities Commission to examine the costs to ratepayers of suspending or terminating the dam and whether it is on time and within budget.
Premier John Horgan's NDP government has asked the commission to review the economic viability of the project and the commission will consider the Deloitte report as part of its review.
The report says the project is facing significant schedule and cost pressures, including the possibility of missing a river diversion milestone in 2019 that could inflate the overall price tag to more than $12.5 billion.
It also says Site C faces major risks including performance issues of contractors, unforeseen geotechnical conditions and cost risks related to major contracts that haven't been awarded yet.